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HindustanTimes Sun,23 Nov 2014

Sexist remarks at IIT Bombay fest land Palash Sen in trouble

Parmita Uniyal, Hindustantimes.com  New Delhi, December 23, 2013
First Published: 18:46 IST(23/12/2013) | Last Updated: 07:50 IST(24/12/2013)

Singer Palash Sen found himself in middle of a raging controversy when his alleged sexist remarks stirred a controversy at the cultural fest of IIT-Bombay.

Even as a blog written by Arpita Phukan Biswas, a student of IIT Bombay, set the social networking sites on fire, the singer claims 'the blog is inaccurate’.

What the controversy is about
Palash Sen while performing at the fest said that women are the most beautiful “creatures” in the world while men are more intelligent, according to the blog. The singer also added that if there are not enough beautiful girls on the campus, IIT guys will find better looking girls outside who'll make rotis for them.  He also reportedly adviced women to become as intelligent as boys to come to IIT.

http://www.hindustantimes.com/Images/popup/2013/12/palash-sen.jpgWhat the singer ‘intended’
When we spoke to Palash Sen to get his version, he more or less agreed with what the blog said but claimed his comments have been misconstrued. He also added that he's an entertainer and not an activist and can't always speak in a politically correct language. He insisted that some of the portions of the blog are incorrect.

Let’s get both the sides
What blog says:  The singer asks the cheering audiences, “Are there good-looking girls at IIT-B?”
Palash Sen clarifies: While performing at the cultural fest- Mood Indigo at IIT-Bombay, I couldn't hear any voices of women, so I asked: ‘Can I hear voice of any girl please?’ When I did not get a response, I asked again, 'Can I hear voice of any girl please, the most beautiful creation of God.' Now what's wrong in that? I firmly believe that women are the most beautiful creation of God and I'm not referring to the physical beauty here.

What the blog says: “Don’t worry guys, you will find the best looking women when you leave this campus. Aur woh tumhaare liye roti belenge (they will cook for you).”
Palash Sen clarifies: The blog has incomplete statement. I had also said, ‘jaise tum unke pair dabaoge (and you will press their feet)’.

What the blog says: “Women are for beauty, men are for intelligence.”
Palash Sen clarifies: Not denying his 'men are more intelligent' statement, the singer says he wanted to encourage women in India to study more. "What I meant to say was - ladkiyon aur padho, get into IIT. But it was misconstrued. It was not a sexist remark. I am all for gender equality. It's a fact there are hardly any girls at IITs. I want them to rub shoulders with the boys."

What the blog says:  The author of the blog writes, “I insist on a public apology from both Euphoria and Mood Indigo, and urge Mood Indigo to stand up for what is right.”
Palash Sen clarifies: The singer claims he has already apologised. He says, “A girl came backstage and told my manager that she's really offended by my 'sexist remarks'. She wanted an apology from me. So I said I apologise if I have hurt anybody's sentiments and dedicated a song to her - Kaise bhoolegi mera naam."

So will he be more careful with words from now on?

The singer says, “I'm not a poet or an activist, I'm an artist. I can't always say politically correct things. Hate me or like me, but I'm what I'm. I'm an honest and straight person. I speak my mind and will continue to do that."

Twitter reactions
@Dr_Vibs: Roti and Phulka have created more controversies than their work for Palash Sen and Chetan Bhagat.
@jainaarushi: And Palash Sen did the exact opposite when he came to LSR. Euphoria's gimmicks depend on the crowd they are facing! http://aol.it/1l967dd
@SamironRoy: Why people are humourless idiots? Respect Dr. Palash Sen
@DaaruDesi: higher education can't change mindset of indian stereotypical male that has been formed since childhood. Look at IIT men cheering Palash Sen
@bhukkadtraveler: I have such fond memories of his songs growing up. Way to ruin them #PalashSen. As @literarystew puts it: Palash Sen to Palash Insane!
@Shakti_Shetty: Palash Sen was pretty right in choosing the wrong country to express his opinion.

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